Li Xueyue did not mean to stay behind and watch. Blood and gore was not her thing. But she remained rooted to the ground, even as Marquis Qin struggled to lift the knife to his stomach. What was left of his hands struggled hard to grasp the dagger.
Eventually, he found the courage to point it towards his stomach. She did not need to figure out why. Anything was better than being cruelly tortured by the aloof Crown Prince. The ghosts lingering in this room were a testament to his brutality.
Li Xueyue's lips curled into a smile. Marquis Qin had pointed the dagger at his stomach, attempting to stab it. Except, the knife did not go through. It was because she had broken the sharp end of the knife and pulled it out.
Li Xueyue glanced down in time to see the knife slipping out of the Marquis's hand. He was visibly shaken up after preparing to kill himself.
"Useless even until the very end."
Marquis Qin's head snapped up. "P-Princess—"
"This was your only chance at a painless death."
Li Xueyue gloated in his pale expression. He looked like he was on his last straw of salvation. His eyes grew wide and visible sweat droplets formed on his forehead. That was strange. Where did the prideful and angry Marquis go? He was just here a few minutes ago.
Did he disappear that fast when approaching death's door?
"You vengeful bitch!" he suddenly shrieked out.
Li Xueyue's smile widened. "That's right, I am a bitch. So what?"
Marquis Qin was visibly taken aback. His mouth clamped shut as if he did not know what to say to that.
Li Xueyue took out a handkerchief and picked up the dagger with it. She'd rather not touch his germs.
She spun on her heels and grabbed the lanterns. It was time to leave him to his own demise. She reached the foot of the door and got the last laugh.
"I'd rather be a bitch than a dead man."
- - - - -
"Dispose of this," Li Xueyue commanded. She placed the handkerchief wrapped dagger into Xiao Hua's open palms.
"Yes, Princess," Xiao Hua instantly said.
Xiao Hua hurried off, already knowing a place to toss it into. At the far outskirts of the enormous Imperial Palace was the place they threw away the trash. There was an enormous furnace there that could burn anything. Before an incense stick could finish burning, someone could be burnt to ash inside.
- - - - -
"Did you find closure?" Yu Zhen asked once everyone was gone, leaving them alone inside of their bedroom.
On their way back to their estate, Li Xueyue was quiet and her responses to him were curt. Thus, he figured she'd want to be alone. He brought her back to their estate first, in case she acted out of character in public.
"Yes, I did," Li Xueyue softly said. "It was satisfying seeing the demon lurking in my nightmare is finally reduced to nothingness."
Yu Zhen's lips pulled into a gentle smile. She was seated at the table, where there was a large vase of freshly picked flowers from the garden. It must've been her doing. Lately, their gloomy and dreary bedroom had been spruced up with slight decorations here and there. He did not mind as it added life and color in the estate.
"I'll handle the rest from here." Yu Zhen closed the distance between them and gently settled a hand on her shoulder.
"Alright," she finally agreed.
Li Xueyue tilted her head. "Thank you," she added on.
Yu Zhen scoffed. "This conversation is going a little bit too easy."
Her brows furrowed in confusion. What did he mean by that?
"I expected an argument," he mused. "Then, wild make-up sessions."
Instantly, her cheeks flamed. She glared up at him whilst holding back a large smile. "I am an agreeable person!"
"I never said you weren't."
"But you implied it."
"Did I now?" he retorted.
Li Xueyue narrowed her eyes. She shrugged her shoulders, forcing his hand to drop.
Yu Zhen loudly laughed. He pinched her nose and grinned. "Agreeable for sure," he sarcastically bit out.
Li Xueyue shoved him to the side. "Don't you have a country to run?"
Yu Zhen nudged her back. "Don't you have a husband to kiss goodbye?"
Li Xueyue quirked a brow. She placed a hand over her eyes and dramatically looked around. "Where do I see a husband worthy of a kiss?"
"And where do I see a wife worthy to kiss me?" he responded, also looking around.
Li Xueyue rolled her eyes, but couldn't contain her large smile. "Just hurry up and bend down," she retorted.
"Or you can stand."
Li Xueyue gaped at him. She had to crane her neck just to see his beautiful features. "You're the one who wants the kiss—mmph!"
He kissed her deeply. She was whisked to her feet, crashing into his chest. Their bodies melded together as he hungrily kissed her. His lips were feverish, like a beast starved of touch. She was left dazzled and breathless, but equally eager.
Soon, they pulled apart, and she was gasping for air. Her head fell upon his shoulders, just as his arms tightened around her waist. He grabbed onto her as if he was scared she'd disappear any minute now. But that was impossible. She had never escaped from him before. She never could.
"The Ministers can wait."
Li Xueyue's eyes bulged out. "But our promise—"
Yu Zhen lifted her into his arms, just as she yelped in horror. Despite her protests, she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck, fearful of falling.
"Then, are we also going to do it tonight?" she blurted out.
When he glanced down at her, revealing a burning gaze of fire, her cheeks flamed. He was already exercising great self-control. But this comment alone was enough to break it. She just loved to tease him, didn't she?
She'd regret it, he'd make sure of it.
"N-no, I just meant—"
"Tonight as well," he growled out.
"And the bathhouse."
Li Xueyue's eyes widened. "I-I don't have the energy for that," she confessed, hoping it would deter him.
But her weakened voice and large eyes only seduced him further. A look of raw hunger flashed across his features. Without warning, she was placed onto the bed. In an instant, he was on top of her.
"Don't worry," he breathed upon her lips, before gently kissing it.
Li Xueyue trembled at his sadistic grin.
"You'll get to eat once we're both satisfied."
Li Xueyue gulped. She was easy to please. But he was an entirely different story. Sometimes, she wondered where exactly he got all of his stamina from. Was it because he was too used to strenuous training during the days of war?
But Li Xueyue could not ponder deeper. The next thing she knew, his lips were on hers and he was already undressing her.
"C-can't we negotiate?" she gasped out once he released her from another searingly passionate kiss.
Yu Zhen worked swiftly as if desperate to get more than just a kiss. His lips nipped a path down her jawline until it reached her neck, where he pressed hot, open mouth kisses upon it.
Yu Zhen tugged her clothes lower, and lower until the dip of her chest was revealed.
"We'll see about that."
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